|Olympus FourThirds DSLR
The Olympus E-410 has a perfect hand fit and all buttons are placed neatly within range. Lacking in my eyes however is a good handgrip. It has nearly completely disappeared but is partly compensated by letting the camera rest more onto your left hand by which the fingers of the right hand have free scope. I did find out that I would normally hold on firmly to the hand grip of a DSLR and leave its weight rest partly on my left hand; it is the opposite when photographing with the Olympus E-410. I do put more weight on my left hand now and the right hand is moving freely over the camera. Advantage or disadvantage; that is purely a personal opinion.
Olympus E-410 - Metal bayonet mount
When we look at the front side of the Olympus E-410 we notice the metal bayonet mount. This mount fully supports the FourThirds system; so besides the still growing assortment of Olympus lenses also brands like Sigma and Leica / Panasonic will fit onto the E-410 without a problem. To the left of the mount we find the handgrip and a vertical LED that serves as indicator for the self timer and is also used for the optional infrared operation of the camera. Compared to its predecessor the distance for operation has remained the same: up to a maximum of 5 meters from the camera indoors and a maximum of 3 meters outdoors. A button for unlocking the lens is placed on the right side of the mount.
Olympus E410 - Camera Body
Looked upon from the front, the right side of the camera has no obvious characteristics. The left side which is the side where the handgrip is placed, is equipped with two compartments. One for the Lithium Ion battery that is inserted into the compartment from the bottom and one for the memory cards. Yes indeed, the Olympus E410 supports more than one flash memory card. First of all their own brand, the extremely small xD Picture Card with a maximum storage capacity of 2GB at this moment. Besides that the camera supports the CompactFlash memory card, a widely available storage medium. It wouldn't surprise me if the next generation Olympus DSLR cameras also support the market leader among the memory cards, the Secure Digital and SDHC memory cards.
Olympus E-410 - Operation
At first glance it looks like the top side of the Olympus E410 camera is a very busy spot. But looking at it again, we can only count four buttons, a command dial and a command wheel. The icons around the buttons make it look a bit busy, but you'll get used to it fairly quickly if you know what every button is meant for. The connection for the external flash has been placed on top of the built-in flash.
|Olympus E-410 - Built-in flash
The built-in flash pops up when the camera is set to AUTO mode. The release button has been placed somewhat farther forward. It makes me having to point my finger a bit more backward in order to operate the release button or I have to have a less strong grip on the handgrip so my hand is leaning a bit backward as it were. This last position works best for me and offers ease of operation. Directly underneath the release button we find a very small LED indicating when the SSWF (anti-dust mechanism) is activated. The command dial with on it the different main programs is able to rotate for almost 360 degrees to the left as well as to the right and gives a clear click for every setting. Furthermore on the left side of the flash we find some two buttons for burst shooting and flash functions.
Olympus LCD screen and viewfinder
The back of the Olympus E-410 SLR camera has a well organized appearance. The large sized 2.5-inch LCD screen is of good quality and is very much suitable for use in- and outdoors. The monitor's resolution is 230,000 pixels. Above the LCD monitor we find the optical viewfinder. This viewfinder seems rather small but it is extremely clear. The information given in the viewfinder is very extensive. For example the black frame to the right of the image offers information about light metering, shutter speed and aperture. On the left side of the monitor we find some four buttons, that have been placed one beneath the other, among them shutter speed and aperture. Right from the monitor we find the multi-controller and two other buttons for fixed exposure among other things. Below the multi-controller the connection for USB and Video out has been placed. The Olympus E410 has a so-called multi-connector for both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and Video out. Small detail concerning the colours green and red that have been used for some buttons: in low light conditions these colored buttons are less visible and readable!
Olympus E-410 - Battery compartment
Turning the Olympus E-410 around gives us a clear view on the bottom of the camera with a universal metal tripod connection. Beside it there is a small door to cover the battery compartment. The door closes well, but it feels a tad cheap. The Olympus PS-BLS1 7,2V 1150mAh battery stays well in its place when opening the compartment. Thanks to the well placed safety catch that prevents the battery from falling out of the camera. The housing of the Olympus E-410 does consist of a lot of plastic but does not feel cheap by any means. Olympus has paid a lot of attention to the finishing touch which has resulted in a beautiful housing that feels solid and offers a perfect hand fit.